Our Flag is Still Here: The key to winning in a hostile world

Our Flag is Still Here

I hear the concern in people’s voices.  But my optimism about the strength of the American idea is not based on fluffy hopes strung together by nonsense.  As I discuss in the video above, America has been attacked in just about every direction that can be imagined, yet we are still here.  We have withstood some vile attempts from a jealous world, and we have stood up far better than anybody expected, and that is something to build on and understand.  My perspective, and the one that fueled the contents of my new book The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business so that I could share it with others and give them a blueprint to what America is and all that it should be, is that I work with guns a lot and in so doing, it removes a lot of fear from my life.  And when you are functioning without a lot of anxiety, you tend to see things more clearly.  For instance, as I was filming the video for this article, I was preparing for a long weekend shoot with the Ohio Fast Draw Association International up in Darke County, Ohio.  Let me tell you, that weekend shoot was a little bit of paradise.  There were a lot of really good people there.  Every fast draw match starts with a pledge of allegiance and a prayer.  At one point, the wind had blown off the mount where our American flag was hanging, and the organizers of the event stopped everything and picked it up to fold it neatly to put back in the truck.  There was nothing phony about it; these guys loved the flag and took what it represented very seriously.

Additionally, I go shooting every other Friday at my local range in West Chester. By spending a lot of time with guns, people who shoot guns, I get to see a side of America that is invisible to most people.  And I would say that for those looking around and are scared, there is a lot of evidence that our country is still here and that all these attempts to overthrow it will fail.  But our nation needs a boost now and then, which is the context of this little message.  There is a lot more right than wrong, and the wrongs can be fixed.  All it takes is for us to show a little courage. 

I will always propose that one of the things that make America unique is its gun culture.  That is why I am pretty calm talking about these things, because ultimately, if all things go to hell in a handbasket, I have a way to defend my family and myself, anywhere, at all times.  I don’t get up every day thinking of shooting someone. Still, my perspective on my independence is very traditional, as it has been in America before when the world’s nations looked at America and wanted to tear it down for being too good and too rich.   I explain all that in my book for reference, but in short, that jealousy of the world toward us has fueled much of the evil we are witnessing now.  Only they won’t say it that way.  Instead, they have attempted to get us to undo ourselves through drugs, through bad ideas, through illegal immigration to change voting patterns and every other means of erosion of morality through religion and financial strife.  I understand that it can all look pretty scary for people who don’t have the means to defend themselves.  After all, we all know the victims of this attack against America from every front.  We see the cost to their minds and bodies.  Yet, I find it quite evident that America has endured despite all the attempts to sink it.  People may be debilitated and lost.  But the idea of freedom has withstood the test of time in a very positive way which, believe it or not, has the bad guys on the run.  I can see it clearly, from the Dr. Fauci types to the leaders of all the major countries.  They did not think America would withstand all that it has. 

As I was driving home from the shoot in Greenville, I was catching up on the news.  We had been doing our Fast Draw event out on the border of Indiana at a shooting range isolated well from the outside world.  There wasn’t much of any internet, so I was in a news blackout during the shoot.  But back in the car driving back to Cincinnati, I caught up on all the news stories, and there was a good one about a minor league baseball team where the announcer had told everyone they were going to skip the National Anthem.  That caused an uproar in the audience, so they took over, and all stood and sang the song themselves, which forced the players to join them.  This has been happening in other places too.  People are refusing the Woke culture that is trying to shut down the American idea of greatness.  Instead, they are not looking to the authorities to protect their free speech ability; they are just taking it upon themselves to do so anyway.   That is the America I know, and I see a lot of that wherever I go.  What they are telling us on the news is not representative of how America is.

Additionally, I have traveled all over America this year and can say I’ve seen it up close.  Traveling west, which doesn’t get talked about much because electorally, the votes from those states aren’t very significant to elections. Still, as I described at our Ohio Fast Draw event, you can see a love for the American flag in the people.  I see in people a refusal to allow America to fall.  What is happening is that many of them are just waking up to the danger, but once awake, I see that they will do what they need to do.  I am sure of it, which is the purpose of sharing this view through this article.  A lot of people need to know that America isn’t going away.  Trump will return to the office.  But my warning to everyone is that the fight doesn’t go away.  The lack of conflict is what caused all the attacks in the first place.  We are required as a people to stand up for ourselves.  I recommend getting a gun, practicing with that gun, and spending time around others who do.  That will put your mind in the right place.  But it’s just the start of being engaged in society to the point that it is required to defend freedom and liberty. 

We have to take a moral stand on the kinds of things that make a good American.  Even though we have shown that we can withstand the many attacks, in the future, we will need to be more resolute and not so apologetic about our success.  Rather, let all the jealous countries see that pride and mimic it for themselves.  Who cares if they are jealous?  Force them to get better through competition with us.  That ultimately will save them.  But as Americans, don’t fall for their poisons.  It is their poison of thoughts and action that has led to so much debilitating condition.  Give yourself options of purity and justice for all so that you can then share that with others.  And in that way, we can Save America and do what needs to be done politically, economically, and morally.

Rich Hoffman

The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business
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Thomas Jefferson Was No Racist: And if not for America–and Republicans, there would still be slavery

Thomas Jefferson was not a racist, he worked to free the slaves and everyone of color

It was tough to watch over the 4th of July weekend the utterances of the many Marxists who have gathered people of color on a typical Kotter change state strategy to disparage Mt. Rushmore and the Founding Fathers. Knowing what I do about the country’s origin that anyone with just a little reading could discover, they’d be insulted too.  I just returned from Mt. Rushmore a few weeks ago, as of this writing, and I found it profoundly refreshing and intellectual.  There was a lot more to do at Mt. Rushmore than getting out of the car and look at some carvings on the big rock wall.  It was a temple of conceptual understanding into the nature of a functioning republic, something that had been attempted by Roman and Greek societies thousands of years ago.  It has only recently been resurrected from the impact of the Dark Ages, where mysticism and religion had placed over all humankind in the East and West a cloak a stupidity that held down civilization during the entire duration.  Only what the Founding Fathers proposed improved those lessons learned, not a return to the Greek or Roman, but a superior next step.  And if not for the people on that big stone mountain in South Dakota, there would still be slavery in the world.  America freed the slaves.  Republicans were the ones who did it, and Thomas Jefferson, even though he started as a slave owner for lots of social reasons specific at that time, worked behind the scenes to end slavery one way or another from the very beginning.

As I said in the video above, and in other videos, they had a couple of fabulous bookstores at Mt Rushmore.  At the very end of the viewing stand in the basement, one looks out over the statues through a big window.  I had read about 75% of the books in that bookstore before, but there was a treasure trove of about 25% that I hadn’t, and I bought them up.  One of the books was a little thing about Thomas Jefferson in his own words that I found very refreshing. I’ve read many books on Jefferson, all of which were written by the modern progressive biographers who have put work out that we see today on historical figures.  I find what they all have in common, even though I enjoy their work, perhaps none more than Edmund Morris, is a need to always put a progressive slant on their work to appease the market gatekeepers.  The big New York publishers all have the strategy of obtaining a New York Times review for the covers of their products.  To get that review, the author must pour some salt on the subject and show that they were not magnificent characters of history but rather people like you and me.  They are meant to be brought down to the ordinary level of the mud trollers who lean toward socialism out of laziness instead of the ambition of capitalism.  In that case, Jefferson has been attacked for his slave ownership and his alleged sexual relationship with Sally Hemings.  The purpose of all this side story stuff is to demean the great thoughts he evoked in creating a Declaration of Independence and the assistance in shaping a functioning Constitution for our new republic.  Not a “democracy,” a REPUBLIC. 

I left Mt. Rushmore with my new books in hand. I read them whenever I could throughout the rest of the trip, starting with this book on Jefferson because it was so relevant to the news of our day.  Our republic is under attack by race-baiters hiding their Marxism behind the guilt of slavery. They expect to use it to crush the morality of America into a change state of oppression and eventual control by the United Nations—which is already infiltrated by communists, socialists, and outright Marxists.  When these people talk of global unity, they are talking about socialism and communism being the method of government, and for that to happen, they must topple the United States from economic power. They work every day to do it.  Their best method of doing it is to convince the people of our republic to give up on capitalism which they think is quite possible due to the teacher union control of our education system.  The other way they plan to do it is to remove our good history of America’s foundation from our current reality.  That is why Mt. Rushmore is to them a bitter enemy which they hate.  It was also essential to build Mt. Rushmore in the first place, so people would never forget it. 

I also bought several other books across Kansas that talked in detail about the battle between the Jayhawkers and Bushwhackers well before the Civil War took place, the events of Bloody Kansas that led to the war itself.  America was never a racist nation to have those kinds of fights occurring, of which the Jayhawks, the Red Legs, and Union Army eventually won.   Slaves were freed because people used the Constitution that Jefferson and the other Founding Fathers created, and everyone fought it out.  It was England that brought the slaves to America.  Jefferson knew that if he tried to go too deep with the Declaration and eventual Constitutional Convention, the southern states would not stand together as the original 13 colonies. So, Jefferson took what he could and planned later to take another swipe at slavery with amendments, which is what happened.  It took another war to do it, but it happened, and, in that way, Jefferson revealed in his letters to immediates within his circle of friends.  Jefferson always planned for the formation of America to free people of all color, everywhere in the world.  The pressure of the victory of a Revolution would set off the movement all over the world.

That’s why it’s such an insult to listen to these modern ignoramuses utter such nonsense about America being anything of a racist country.  There is nowhere else in the world where so many people of different backgrounds have come together and lived so freely.  All we hear from the attackers is jealousy that the rest of the world hasn’t figured out how to do it yet.  Perhaps other places in the world would do better if only they learned from America.  It isn’t the American prerogative to give up what’s good so that everyone in the world can be equally wrong.  It is up to them to learn from us and the hard lessons won in the formation of America, which benefits all people.  And finally, what is even worse about the constant attacks of racism toward America is that the Democrats from the beginning were the Bushwackers, the slave owners, and the resistance to creating an independent republic.  They loved the aristocracy of European life and were not eager to take a break for independence.  Today, they are most anxious to retreat to Europe and adopt their socialism so they can be invited to the next Beltway party and live the life of the aristocracy.   The Founding Fathers started in the elite but decided to break away and create something new that resembled what worked with the old.  And for all they say, the Democrats in the modern era, none of it is good, educated, or relevant to history.  It is all malicious and meant to undo us all.

Rich Hoffman

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The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business

My Advice on Bitcoin: The goal by America’s enemies is to collapse the dollar

Most days, and several times during those days, I get asked my opinion on Bitcoin and how much I’ve invested in it.  The answer is that I don’t support Bitcoin, and I have not invested any money in it, no matter how much speculators talk it up.  To me, it’s a mechanism to collapse the American dollar as the dominant force in the world, and I’d advise against participating in cryptocurrency.  Sure, some money might be made, but the revolution itself is more scam than reality.  As I say in the video above, under a collapsed America instigated by a Biden presidency, I can see how hiding money in a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin would be attractive.  A pirate currency isn’t a bad idea when the world falls apart and ends up flat on its face, as things appear to be today.  My focus is on electing Trump to a second term, and up and down the tickets Republicans strong enough to last for the next 30 to 40 years.  I have invested in America First and a strong USA dollar that continues to lead the world.  Running from that world and hiding money in places like cyberspace is not a good idea—because, ultimately, the internet is not free.  The governemnts of the world control cyberspace.  You don’t run to cyberspace to rebel or hide from them.  It would help if you faced them directly.  And take power away from them and put it where it belongs, in our Republic backed by the American currency.  That is how to preserve and retain value in our financial health.

Cliffhanger the Overmanwarrior


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The Government Panics: Over a quarter of all people just aren’t going to get the Covid vaccine

Government fails to convince people that Covid was real

I’m not bragging, but it’s important to point out when you are right about something so that people know they can trust you when you say something.  I watch a lot of news, and I listen to talk radio for nearly 16 to 17 hours per day, often when I’m doing other things as well.  I read a lot, at least 3 hours of something a day, newsprint, books, opinion pieces, and I can say that when Covid-19 broke as a story, I blew it off for what it was, an election year attack against Trump after the impeachment thing fell apart in the House in January of 2020.  A plan hatched in Davos and New York by corporate progressives behind the Green communist agenda then hatched their plan to steal the election.  They planned to trap Trump with this whole Covid thing, and a national shutdown of the economy was created to ruin the red hot economy.  They wanted to cause people not to vote for Trump in the November election later that year.  Trump, however, made the best of things; it didn’t hurt the internals on both sides, so at that point, Plan B was unleashed and Democrats, along with those same corporate progressives, planned to use Covid as an excuse to change voting habits.  I said all that in January and February before there was even a single lockdown, so by March, when all the unfathomable police state lockdowns started happening, and people didn’t know what to do, I had predicted everything, to the crossed “Ts” and dotted, “Is.” And because of my exposure to media, I think it’s safe to say that I was the first and only one perhaps in the entire world to call Covid what it was at the point when the CDC and WHO was saying it.  It was a scam at the start, and it’s a scam now; even people who typically are good with these things, like Rush Limbaugh, bought the Covid begin in the first two weeks, but not me.  I didn’t buy it for one minute, so that should set the stage for all the things I will say about Covid in the months to come, including today. 

The Covid lockdowns, the quarantining, the social distancing, everything we have been doing regarding Covid has been for show, to sell the severity of the virus without any proof that it was ever hazardous.  We know the government agencies lied to us about the deaths, how they spread, and what was good to do or not do based on their agenda items.  It was clear that most of what we did do in reaction to Covid made things worse, which the government wanted to keep the story alive to satisfy all their political targets for 2020.  Just look at the case from a New York perspective, and the betrayal becomes obvious.  The same for Michigan, a complete disaster.  The solution to Covid from the beginning was to take medicine.  Not to wear a dirty virus-filled mask that kept the virus alive longer and allowed it to spread more easily because you constantly touch the mask with your hands then touch everything else.  And to avoid exposing the virus to ultraviolent sunlight, which kills it. After all, the mask’s purpose was to keep the virus alive longer so that Democrats and their science activists could keep the virus alive until the election was over.  Like now, Joe Biden has set a target of July 4th before people can remove their masks to show off the new authority the government thinks it has because of how people listened to them during 2020.  Only 2021 is a different story.  People are no longer listening.  Thankfully, they are finally calling bullshit on the government response to the virus because history has more than shown that people like me were right from the beginning; the government approach to Covid was all wrong and deliberately toxic for strategic political reasons.  And now that there are vaccines available, the kind of people who fall for these government tricks are ready to get back into action.  Then, the people like me always thought Covid was pure politics who are now joined in skepticism by the vaccination types. 

I knew what was going to happen all along. The activity at Paul Brown Stadium during the last weekend of April 2021 is all anybody needs to know about Covid protocols and their motivations, and the government’s ability to know anything.  So free vaccinations were being offered at the pro football stadium in downtown Cincinnati, where I live. They expected 5000 people to come and get the shot over that public offering, to fight Covid—as it was sold to the public.  However, only 1000 people showed up.  The government missed the mark by 4000 people, overstating what they thought would show up based on their internal projections and considering a downtown population of around a million people in the region.  They ended the weekend way under their targets. As a result of some re-calculation that goes all the way up to the Biden White House and their CDC co-conspirators, it is now apparent that there will always be a quarter of our entire population who will never get the Covid vaccination. 

So what does all that mean?  Well, even with all the hard-selling, the cheated election results, the attempted conquest by the government on a society of free people who were convinced to lock themselves in their homes, destroy their economy, lose their jobs and even not see family members, there is still one-quarter of the entire American population that hasn’t been terrified into getting the vaccine.  Of those who did get the vaccine, they essentially did so to regain freedom from a government that took those freedoms away during the whole ordeal. They didn’t get the vaccine because they believed the CDC and other government scientists so much as ordinary people just wanted to get the government off their backs so they could get back to everyday life. They were learning all that makes that quarter percent population a lot scarier than they otherwise might be because the government threw everything, including the kitchen sink, at this Covid thing only to get these very short-term results.  When the government scientists roleplayed this whole coronavirus attack from China back at Event 202 in New York in October of 2019, they planned and expected a much more significant portion of the American population to be suckered into this scam.  For them, it is very disheartening to learn that all they accomplished over the last year of their scamdemic failed to do more than get 1000 people to show up at a football stadium to get something for free for what was sold as a “good cause.”

I know now it’s fashionable to be scared of what the government has done with Covid and the intentions for destroying our Republic.  The masks are off, and people can now see what I’ve been warning everyone about for decades.  And I haven’t been wrong about any of it.  And I’m not wrong now when I say that there is panic in this Biden government of corporate progressives.  They thought they were masters of the universe, and they did not respect the American people.  They failed to understand what motivates them, what makes them tick.  Corporate progressives thought that just because people respond favorably to their burger ads or will shop at their stores and go to their theme parks, watch their network television shows, that they would also listen to the same types of people when told that Covid was dangerous and would give up their freedoms to fight it. That’s where everything went wrong.  Americans will do things and listen when they think they have a choice.  But the moment you take that choice away from them, they go in the other direction.  They vote for Trump.  They go to motorcycle rallies.  They drink too much.  They do lots of destructive things they might not otherwise do if the government had just left them alone.  Because they are free to think, people in America will naturally question everything and work against organized thought out of their self-preservation.  And that’s why this government and ultimately the global push to make Covid a unifier of all cultures under the communism of China is because people in America are free to think, and once they get a chance, they decide for themselves how to live and think.  They are no closer to being broken than before the day Covid-19 was announced as a pandemic by the CDC and WHO.  For these idiots, that is frustrating—a sure sign of their ultimate and inevitable failure in the months to come.  

Cliffhanger the Overmanwarrior


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So You’ve Played Red Dead Redemption 2 and Loved it: Be a gunslinger in real life, join the Cowboy Fast Draw Association

As much as I talk about other things, I am not completely lost like a lot of people my age might otherwise be on the magical world of video games and their relatively new impact on global entertainment. But let me just say to my usual readers, its big business. I finally finished the story mode of Red Dead Redemption 2 after around 100 hours of game play, taking my time when I could and I have to say that I was absolutely amazed by the result. The game is such an astonishing technical achievement and it is by far the best thing that could have ever happened to the entertainment format of the American Western. As a story and experience it really is like taking a real-life cowboy experience like the movie City Slickers and placing them into a 1960s spaghetti western with all the high drama of something like Game of Thrones. It is big, bold and beautiful in so many ways. And I knew that as I completed the game and all the epilogue missions that there was going to be a Red Dead online coming at the end of November. I planned to revisit the game at that time but wasn’t expecting much. But let me say that I have been pleasantly surprised. It looks like as massive as Red Dead Redemption 2 is as a game with sales well over a billion dollars already and something like 20 million copies sold before the Holiday season, that the purposed of the online play is to use the game as a kind of training experience for the online world that they have created. It is just vast and ultimately never-ending in what it allows players to do and interact with one another.

I couldn’t help but think as I was playing missions with other people the other day, most of them much younger than I am, that this game is really their only experience with a real American western and for many they are very touched by it. The game itself is a very moral story about good and bad and the many quandaries of the critical decisions that went into exploding life across the American frontier. But at its core it’s about gunfighting and is clearly one of the best arguments for the real-life problems of the Second Amendment. A lot of young people may not be paying attention to the real political problems going on in the outside world, but they sure care a lot about earning enough money in the game to purchase upgrades for their guns and dress in the coolest gunfighting outfits. But I couldn’t help notice that many of them probably didn’t know that they could do all the things they are doing in Read Dead Redemption in real life with Cowboy Fast Draw as seen at the following link:

http://www.COWBOYFASTDRAW.com

Belonging to the Cowboy Fast Draw Association is one of the groups I am most proud to affiliate with, they are really a good group of people who meet all over the United States to compete in real life fast draw competitions using real guns. It’s what I think of as one of the coolest sports in the world right now as other countries are trying to participate but have too strict of gun laws to actually do it. But in the good ol’ United States it is much easier to participate in. Yet I have noticed that most of the members are well over 40, largely because guns and holster rigs are expensive so it takes a little upfront investment to get involved. But once you do, it is infinitely rewarding. I enjoyed the original Red Dead Redemption enormously and getting my own fast draw rig was always something I had planned to do. But raising a family every last dollar that I made went into family needs, a car was always breaking down, a kid always needed a school fee or band instrument. Someone needed braces of a family member across the country wanted us to visit them, so there was always something for like twenty years that kept me from getting my own fast draw gun rig.

I ran across a substantial amount of money for a big job I had been working on so I treated myself to my gun rig and have been practicing at Cowboy Fast Draw for several years now, and am getting pretty good at it. After probably 30,000 to 35,000 shots at a fast draw target, I am starting to feel good about my speed and accuracy. It did take a while. It was something that had been on my mind well before I ever played the first Red Dead going way back into my twenties when I was going through a really tough time. Westerns and western music really kept the zest for life alive in me. On their most basic foundations westerns are about the meaning of life so they always had great appeal to me so when I grew up I wanted to be as much of a gunfighter as society could endure. Ironically, I had acquired my gun rig and some advanced fast draw skill before Red Dead Redemption 2 came out which had even more meaning for me because of the new hobby I had.

Traveling around the online world it has become very obvious that many young people are deeply touched by Red Dead Redemption 2 and likely would like to have a similar experience as I have. So let me put this little invite out there. If you are unsure of how to get involved in Cowboy Fast Draw because you are enjoying playing Red Dead Redemption but would like to take everything up a notch, don’t hesitate to ask me. I can help you get started on something that would be infinitely rewarding. While my regular audience here is much older than the people playing Red Dead Redemption 2 I would personally love to see more young people getting involved in Cowboy Fast Draw. It really isn’t any different from what you do in the game, but that it never ends. While the content of Red Dead Redemption does eventually run out, the challenges in real life never do.

In the Cowboy Fast Draw Association, you get to dress up as a gunslinger for real, and have a reason to do it. You have a reason to buy fancy guns for real and learn to take care of them. And the scoring format is safe and fun. Its one of the most satisfying things I’ve done in my life and I would recommend it to anybody. I had been thinking that membership in the cowboy sports may just flicker away because new generations just do not have many positive western entertainment venues that are cool enough to hold their attention, that is until Red Dead Redemption 2 came along and inspired millions of people to live in that world quite authentically. And for those who just want to climb into the world of Red Dead Redemption for real and live it in real life I’d point you to the Cowboy Fast Draw Association at the link shown here. If you have any questions, just ask. I’d love to help as many new people get involved in the sport as possible. While I personally love the world of Red Dead Redemption, it is no match for having a real fast draw rig on your hip which is an experience I have every day. And wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

Rich Hoffman

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Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game: Pizza, Coca Cola, and Strategy, the cornerstones of a happy life

At Mos Eisley Radio these guys not only talk news concerning the most recent Star Wars Game X-Wing Miniatures, which I am crazy about, but a lot more.  Have a listen to them for  in-depth looks at classes, guilds, lore, and everything else fans care about in the galaxy far, far away.  But related to this article, they go into great detail about the strength of ships and strategy of the game for those who are prompted to get more involved by the conclusion of this article.   Have a listen while reading the below text!

star-wars-x-wing-miniatures-game-milennium-falcon

While it’s true that many of the people I know are locked into the very real and immediate danger of a real-life rebellion, which is covered at this site extensively, the way I endure the stress of such a thing is to fill my life with interesting hobbies, that also help build up my strategic ability.  I share some of those hobbies from time to time in hopes that others might become inspired and do the same for themselves, not by copying my suggestions so much as in finding something that works for them to give themselves a break so to endure the rigors of life just a bit more efficiently.  I have shared glowingly my love of the strategy game Pirates, the Constructible Strategy game by Wiz Kids.  My family has spent many hours buying, building, and playing that game till the very small hours of the morning.  I can remember one very fun Holiday week after Christmas where my kids and I with a small army of other kids bought every single pack of WizKids pirate ships on a cold December afternoon at Cincinnati Sci Fi in West Chester, Ohio.  The delighted store clerk even brought out a new shipment of those ships which had just arrived that was in the back while we were in the store, of which we bought every single one.  So needless to say, we love those types of role-playing games as a family, and as individuals.

Recently while on vacation in Florida my nephews along with my kids, my wife and I played a very cool Dungeons and Dragons type of role-playing game called Heroscape over pizza from the best place in Central Florida till the late hours of night with the condo door open to the ocean outside.  We had turned our large dinning room table into a war zone and found ourselves intensely engaged in mortal combat with dragons and warriors.  Like the referred to pirate game, I enjoy those types of games that allow you to play with several live players around a dinner table.  It is a great way to bond with other family members and actually speak to each other, while exercising the brain. 22_Top I find those types of games to be stimulating in a similar way to reading a novel, or playing a great video game.   The difference is that you have to work with other people in a way that is only possible with this type of strategic gaming.  For many years these role-playing strategy games have increased in popularity from a sub-culture of Dungeon and Dragon players, to what is now considered mainstream geekdom at major conventions all over the country.  The transition came officially from the popular game, Magic the Gathering.  The gaming industry in that market has never been the same, which is wonderful for the human race.  A short history of this type of gaming can be seen at the link below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dungeons_%26_Dragons

However, for me, I always loved that Pirate game from Wiz Kids the best of any that I have played in the last twenty years.  My entire family was deeply into it and our playing time together represent some of the most fun we’ve had together, which is quite a statement.  So I have missed it as Wiz Kids stopped making the game in the format we enjoyed, and time and distance has moved us away from the contents.  However, I recently received news from Lucasfilm about their latest version of a Star Wars Role Playing game by Fantasy Flight Games which I thought at first would be gimmicky, but upon investigation quickly found that it was a quite in-depth game that actually combined the type of game play that I enjoyed so much in  Pirates, the Constructible Strategy game by Wiz Kids and the Heroscape.  The new game is called Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game.

Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game is a tactical ship-to-ship combat game in which players take control of powerful Rebel X-wings and nimble Imperial TIE fighters, facing them against each other in fast-paced space combat. Featuring stunningly detailed and painted miniatures, the X-Wing Miniatures Game recreates exciting Star Wars space combat throughout its several included scenarios.

Whatever the chosen vessel, the rules of X-Wing facilitate fast and visceral gameplay that puts you in the middle of Star Wars fiercest firefights. Each ship type has its own unique piloting dial, which is used to secretly select a speed and maneuver each turn. After planning maneuvers, each ship’s dial is revealed and executed (starting with the lowest skilled pilot). So whether you rush headlong toward your enemy showering his forward deflectors in laser fire, or dance away from him as you attempt to acquire a targeting lock, you’ll be in total control throughout all the tense dogfighting action.

Star Wars: X-Wing features (three) unique missions and each has its own set of victory conditions and special rules; with such a broad selection of missions, only clever and versatile pilots employing a range of tactics will emerge victorious. What’s more, no mission will ever play the same way twice, thanks to a range of customization options, varied maneuvers, and possible combat outcomes. Damage, for example, is determined through dice and applied in the form of a shuffled Damage Deck.1XW For some hits your fighter sustains, you’ll draw a card that assigns a special handicap. Was your targeting computer damaged, affecting your ability to acquire a lock on the enemy? Perhaps an ill-timed weapon malfunction will limit your offensive capabilities. Or worse yet, your pilot could be injured, compromising his ability to focus on the life-and-death struggle in which he is engaged…

The Star Wars: X-Wing starter set includes everything you need to begin your battles, such as scenarios, cards, and fully assembled and painted ships. What’s more, Star Wars: X-Wing’s quick-to-learn ruleset establishes the foundation for a system that can be expanded with your favorite ships and characters from the Star Wars universe.

More can be learned at these links:

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_minisite.asp?eidm=174

http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/103885/star-wars-x-wing-miniatures-game

The hook for me was when I saw the game’s version of The Millennium Falcon which is for me one of my favorite fictional symbols in film history of rebellion.  CLICK HERE FOR MORE.  I remember vividly when I toured the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. to see the actual model of the Falcon in a traveling display that was set up there.  I traveled to Washington that weekend just to see the Falcon.  I spent nearly two hours looking at it, photographing it and memorizing every pipe, dent, and burn mark on a ship I had watched so many times in the feature films.  It was for me one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life.  When I saw the level of detail that Fantasy Flight Games had poured into the Millennium Falcon game piece for the X-Wing Miniatures role-playing game it called to my mind memory of that original model in sheer detail and I instantly fell in love.  I immediately bought a starter set of the X-Wing game and launched my family onto a new generation of game play that is sure to engulf for many years. In the game players can fly the legendary Millennium Falcon into fast-paced battles for the fate of the galaxy! The Millennium Falcon™ Expansion Pack for the X-Wing™ Miniatures Game allows players to blast through hyperspace with Han, Chewie, Lando, and more. The Millennium Falcon comes with four pilot cards, thirteen upgrades, and all requisite tokens. New rules expand the X-Wing galaxy to include large ships and modifications. With its pilots, upgrades, and lovingly detailed miniature, the Millennium Falcon Expansion Pack is a beautiful addition to the X-Wing game!  It may be the coolest thing I have seen in years regarding this kind of thing.  It is a marvel to look at and unbelievable to have as a game play option.  I consider it stunning.

If the Millennium Falcon didn’t close the deal for me on the new X-Wing game the promise of the next ship did.  It doesn’t come out until the end of August, but when it does, I will buy it immediately.  It is the HWK-290 designed by Corellian Engineering Corporation to resemble a bird in flight, the “hawk” series excels in its role as a personal transport. The HWK-290 Expansion Pack comes with one detailed miniature at 1/270 scale, a maneuver dial, all necessary tokens, six upgrades, and four pilots, including the renowned Kyle Katarn. Each HWK-290 provides a wide range of support options for your squad and can be outfitted with both a turret weapon and crew member.  The reason this ship is significant for me is because it was the featured spacecraft of the main character in the video game Dark Forces.  pic1394907_lgIt never appeared in a Star Wars film, but was the home craft of the video game character Kyle Katarn, who would later become a Jedi Master in the novels years later.  One of the very first video games that my oldest daughter ever played was Dark Forces.  It was a first person shooter that came out in 1995.  My daughter was only 6 years old at the time and helped me play it by pressing the space bar on the key board when I told her to which caused my character to jump.  She was too young for the complex shooting and strategy it took to win the game, but she knew how to hit the space bar when I told her to and it was that game that launched her into a lifelong love of video games.  She and I will always share that unique father/daughter experience, and I will always think of her when I think of the HWK-290.  I was dazzled to learn that Fantasy Flight Games was actually inserting that ship into the game mythology before other types of ships, which let me know that the game designers were very serious about expanding the Star Wars experience of role-playing gaming in a format that hasn’t seen such a level of attention since our beloved Pirate Constructible Strategy Game.

Now that I’m going to be playing, it won’t take long before other members of my family will also and soon we will be ordering LaRosas pizza late at night and lining up 2-liters of Coke along our kitchen counter playing Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game well into the night.  It doesn’t matter that everyone playing will be well over 20 years old and in my case their 40s.  I still get a thrill about purchasing new strategic game pieces that can be used under battlefield conditions that have infinite possibilities.  I do not feel this kind of passion for other types of games.  The reason is that the role-playing games allow for complete independent freedom of strategy, unlike board games where the path is set and random chance puts players often into a position to win the game.  With games like X-Wing Miniatures all the conditions of battle are set and designed by the player, and that is why I love these experiences so intensely.  For me the game is only part of the fun.  I enjoy often reading the stats of the cards and infinitely considering various strategies before hand.  The game only proves a theory good or bad. 

 

I have played these games with people who are really good.  They are very quick with their mind and spend a lot more time playing the games than I ever will.  It is fun to watch these kinds of players at tournaments and conventions.  I will never put the kind of time into these games that they do, but I admire their efforts.  Too many adults in our modern age believe falsely that games are for kids and that such things should be put away as adulthood consumes our lives.  Games are not for kids, they are for minds.  Games like the Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game feeds the mind with more than entertainment, it provides mental exercises that are invaluable to real life.  I can’t say how many times I have been locked in epic political struggles and other situations where I resorted on the practices used in these strategy games to apply some skill I tried and won with in theory, against real opponents in real scenarios. 

 

So as I sometimes take breaks from the rebellions of the real world to embark on these flights of fantasy, even in my leisure, strategy is an important part of my life.  It is far safer to make errors in judgment among friends and family over pizza and Coca Coke than when it really counts in real life. 

And with that said, I am ecstatic to see this new Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game available at what might only be termed, an essentially important period in my life.  The timing couldn’t have been more perfect and I am so glad that the good people at Lucasfilm put the short playing clip of the example with Wil Wheaten and Seth Green up so I could see the Millennium Falcon playing piece for the first time and become enticed enough to investigate further.  That investigation will yield tremendous benefits that can only be found when adults play the games of young people and further develop their minds against the antagonists who have lost such abilities to their own detriment.  Sometimes being good at strategy isn’t about being better at the game itself, but is due to working against un-armed opponents.  Those who don’t play these kinds of games find their minds unable to think strategically enough to compete when it really matters, and every time a new game like Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game comes out, I am deeply thankful for the opportunity to feed my mind with the contents that have benefits which extend beyond convention.  When a vacation is needed, it’s not just the body that needs rest, the mind does also.  But the mind enjoys stimulation, not stagnation, and often a game like this can provide the crucial ingredient that the mind seeks with abundance in all the best scenarios.

 

To get the gist of what I’m talking about read this review from Boardgamegeek.com.  It reveals why this game is so much better than most other games, and why it will become one of the most enduring games of its type in this generation. 

 

 

 Harrowing dogfights, family drama, shootouts, a tender moment, amazing monsters, humor.

There’s a tempo to Star Wars. We all remember Luke screaming NOOOOOOO at Vader. For different reasons, we remember Anakin turned Vader screaming NOOOOOO. But we also remember Leia offering a little cracker to an ewok. We remember first seeing Darth Maul’s double lightsaber. And we remember Han saying “I know.”

It is NOT all pew-pew-pew. It is NOT all Vrusssshhhhhhhzwwwmzwwwmmm. It’s a cycle of teasing action and drama.

Even though the X-Wing Minis game plays out some incredible dogfight sequences, the play of the game is NOT a straight forward flow.

I’ve got dozens of rounds under my belt now, and I’ve been wanting to write a review, and it finally came to me what it is that makes this game such rip roaring fun.

It’s not the astoundingly detailed minis. And anyone complaining about scale needs to take a close look at the movies, where the scale of the ships to each other changes from shot to shot due to the compositing techniques used at the time.

The minis are awesome. I’m somewhat surprised that different ships use different plastics, but I understand why. That denser stuff used on the X-Wing would collapse a Falcon into itself.

The prepaint jobs are incredible. The cards gorgeous, the components just off the scale. Even with the bit more they must pay in royalties to Uncle George, the massive appeal of this game allows them to make a ton of copies and the price, while at first glance seems daunting, isn’t a lot for what you get.

What makes the game work is the pendulum swing. The rhythm.

First, the setup. The agonizing squad building. Is it worth 2 points to raise this pilot’s skill, not knowing what the enemy force contains? It could easily be two points that have ZERO effect on the game. Terribly tough gambles. Now that wave 2 is out and you could just as easily face a hulking mothership like a decked out Slave I or a swarm of the world’s most annoying TIE fighters, you really have to prepare for a wide contingency of opponents.

This setup is tense. You want flexible. But strong. Synergistic support between squad members, but not so much that the loss of a key ship means defeat. And you ALWAYS want about 3 more points for that perfect build. No matter how many points you choose to fight, you will kill for another 3.

So it’s got that whole squad building aspect down great. Especially now that there’s a ton of options. Who knows what your opponent will bring?

But the flow of a turn is brilliant.

Everybody chooses their maneuvers. No downtime. But here in the game is where you are playing cat and mouse. Maybe psychologically toying with the opponent, making them think your plan is A when it is actually B.

Hidden agendas and secret moves. That’s the next game that plays out after the squad building math.

Then the wonderful move system. Everyone slowly reveals their moves, in what might be the games most questioned rule. The lowest skilled dudes go first, and eventually the better skilled dudes, which mean they have a fairly good chance of accidentally hitting and losing their action, where the lower skill guy might pull it off.

But it works in the long run, because it keeps higher skills in tailing positions.

Bit in this phase of the game, again, very, very little downtime, as the nefarious plans and maneuvers are revealed.

Squeals of glee and grunts of horror abound as unexpected collisions happen and skillful turns are executed.

But then comes the start of your devastating on the spot decision making. While plotting your squadrons moves, you had an overall plan. Now, each ship must choose it’s precious action.

Evade? How many guys might end up firing on you? Target? Are you clear to get the shot this or next turn? Focus – the all purpose “Egads, I need help” token. Or maybe that barrel roll or super freakin cool new Boost – move a bit maybe out of a firing arc or -surprise – snap someone into your arc. Maybe you execute some trick of your specific pilot.

Here is where you are tempering your odds. Things that will alter the upcoming luck sequence. carefully guiding the gods of luck to your favor.

The tokens build up on the board as actions get selected. At first, this is a pile of confusing cardboard. In a few games, the counters become invisible, simply reminding you of who plans what.

Whew. So, strategic planning in the squad build, then the secrecy of move plotting, then the agonizing action choices. What more does this game need?

Raw luck.

Bring out the dice. Or the iPad app, if you prefer.

Its Star WARS and the dice bring on the war. Now MORE decisions that hurt. Do I spend my focus token to get that extra damage possibly in, or hold on to it to help me avoid possible damage? What if I hold it and no one fires? What a waste… Two hits coming in… Do I evade? Or hold on to the evade since a crit might come next?

Hopefully, you’ve pile bonus upon bonus on your fighters. Distance, skill, weapon, focus… Or maybe all you’ve got is a shot in the dark.

Fire away.

Even defenders are active, choosing focus and evade moments.

Again, very little downtime. Lots of whining and cheering. Little downtime.

Start the cycle again. Hidden choices, movement reveals and actions, combat.

I think THIS is why X-Wing is such a stunningly successful design. It bobs and weaves each turn. No phase is long enough to overstay its welcome. And you must juggle and balance each phase to support the others.

An excellently designed system that overcomes any of it’s perceived problems due to the overall strength of play.

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/942443/why-it-works-review-after-wave-2

Listen to Star Wars gaming news at Mos Eisley Radio broadcasting straight from the Outer Rim!

http://moseisleyradio.com/category/mos-eisley-radio/

Rich Hoffman

 www.OVERMANWARRIOR.com

Give yourself the gift of ADVENTURE.  CLICK HERE!  

“Shoot Extreme” in West Chester Part 2: Tactical Targeting for Civilians

This posting assumes that my previous article about the new indoor target range Shoot Extreme has been read.  Click here for review.  Shoot Extreme is the tactical indoor target shooting range located in West Chester, Ohio.  It is the first of its kind anywhere in the United States, where real guns can be used in the fashion that has become popular with paintballing.  While paintball can simulate combat, the weapons are unique to paintball.  The huge advantage that Shoot Extreme has over everyone else in the simulated combat training business is that their guns are real, so it allows the shooter to become very familiar with a specific weapon.  

In my trip to Shoot Extreme the genius of the concept was quickly evident. Ownership of Shoot Extreme revealed to me that in its current state, he is at phase one of a multi-phase plan.  Currently there are two lanes (mazes) of interactive targets that a shooter must engage within 3 seconds while in the course.  The two lanes are of two different difficulties, lane one, easy to intermediate, the second is the advanced lane.  The interactive targets in this case happen to be zombies, to simulate human style targets and they are cleverly positioned throughout the simulated interior of a building dressed up like a haunted house.  The lighting is challenging because it’s dim to dark in most places which accurately simulates most situations of nighttime home intrusion scenarios.  The zombie theme is wonderful because it makes it fun and much less serious since replication of human targets crosses the line for many people. 

For even experienced shooters I highly recommend lane one first because I have to admit, my first couple of shots in the course were loaded with mild anxiety at the thought of shooting at a human like target, its one thing to think about shooting at a live target, it’s quite another to actually do it.  In lane one it takes 19 shots to get through to the end.  It takes a “double tap” to kill the final two bosses which appear nearly simultaneously. Additional ammunition is available for $10.  The cost of admission gets you 20 shots and is currently $20 dollars to get two clips of ten shots, a gun rental of your choice, a tactical holster and a run through one of the target courses.  Basically the cost of shooting is a dollar a shot, and most of the guns available are traditional 9mm and .45 simi auto pistols.  Shoot Extreme provides the best training possible with a full staff available and their gun rental department is vast as they maintain many commonly used service weapons, including Glock, Beretta, Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson, and other arms.

When I went through lane one I picked the Beretta 92F since it is such a reliable weapon and seemed like the one that would be most useful in a zombie apocalypse.  It’s a 9mm and holds plenty of ammunition.  But with a ten round clip, a reload in the middle of the course would be needed.  And this is what makes Shoot Extreme such a treasure for target shooters.  The zombie apocalypse target shoot forces shooters to keep track of their ammunition under duress, just as it would be required in an actual combat situation, which is probably the single most important tactical teaching tool that this course provides.  The second benefit is that it gets a shooter used to shooting at a target that simulates a menace. 

Typically under normal target shooting there is very little urgency to perform, and react to the target.  The shooter is in complete control, however, in an emergency, control is in the command of the aggressor.  So normal target shooting does not properly train the mind to deal with situations of aggression.  In a real hostile situation, if an intruder entered a home and a shooter was commissioned to defend their home with their own Beretta 92F they would have to overcome their anxiety to pull the trigger on a hostile, and they would have to get used to keeping track of their ammunition in low light conditions under duress, and possess the ability to determine a friend from foe while geared up and ready to fire at the first moving target they see. 

To date, only Shoot Extreme in West Chester gives civilians the opportunity to exercise these types of skills.  When a visitor enters the double doors to the Shoot Extreme building located at the intersection of Tylersville Road, and Cincinnati-Dayton Rd, a state of the art, technologically equipped lobby is there to greet. After a release form is filled out, shooters stroll into a room where they are checked by a metal detector to ensure they don’t bring live guns into the facility, so everything is tightly controlled.  From there, a shooter steps up to a counter and selects their holster, and a technician will present dozens of potential firearms converted to fire Simunition, which functions the same as regular ammunition, but fires a plastic round that could easily strike the bare skin of a human being and not penetrate.  It will sting a bit, but will not cause any harm. In fact advanced shooters at Shoot Extreme are organizing four on four matches where they shoot at each other in special competitions.  So there is no danger of death, but this is certainly a step up from paintball.  A BIG step up!  Once a shooter has their guns and holster, a guide takes shooters through one by one.  The guide hangs back while the shooter engages the targets and does not get involved unless they need to.  For instance, while I was going though, my Beretta jammed up, which is part of the shooting experience.  In a real situation, a shooter would have to solve this problem while still in danger.  My guide was able to step in and pause the action while we cleared the gun.  He was able to restore my ammunition level to compensate me for the lost rounds so I didn’t have an unpleasant experience.  The guides are also there to help in case a shooter finds themselves in a panic situation passing out due to the anxiety. 

I moved through my course rather fast and my guide stayed well behind me not interfering.  I had a lot of technical questions which he was able to answer as I thought of them, but at no time did he encourage me to slow down, or speed up.  He just hovered back there in case something went wrong, which for me was only mischambered ammunition after a series of rapid fire targets. 

The environment is decorated just like a haunted house but the thinking is opposite from that experience.  When a monster jumps out, the typical reaction in a haunted house is to jump away from the action.   In this scenario as the walls are smeared with blood, and other chaotic markings overwhelm the senses, the zombies make a bellow noise and growl at you and the must be engaged with aggression.  You have to determine where they are and kill them within the 3 second limit.  If you don’t strike them with a clean hit, within that time, they flash red to let you know you failed to engage that target.  Toward the end of the course are two bosses that require “double-tapping” to bring them down.  They require four shots between the two in about 3.5 seconds.  One is at close range and the other is in the distance and even if you know what to expect, would be a challenging shot. 

If shooters would like to get used to the idea of firing guns at interactive targets, Shoot Extreme features a traditional range that can be viewed from the lobby, and is filled with torso targets that are very similar to the zombies in the course.  I did not shoot on this course before I went through the zombie maze, and I did lose a couple of shots because I went for head shots, and head shots don’t always register completely, since the hit sensor is in the torso.  So a torso shot is the most effective way to bring down a zombie, and that can be practiced in the traditional target range for similar pricing, about a dollar a shot along with the gun rental—so it’s very affordable, and a cheap way to shoot, a really good bargain for such a non traditional target range.  I did shoot on the traditional range after my zombie hunt, because I didn’t want the experience to be over, so I was able to see how the zombies worked in lane one by studying how the targets behaved without all the zombie dressing that makes them look like monsters in a haunted house. 

Shoot Extreme is a happening place, and a palace of tactical shooting.  It is a great benefit to the community of West Chester and the surrounding areas as it gives civilians a chance to do what only military personnel has had access to in the past.  I will emphasize that every gun owner and Second Amendment supporter I know should make a regular visit to this fantastic target range.  This particular venue enhances experiences like that enjoyed at Target World.  It is not direct competition, but is an added enjoyment, and skill set that is designed to take the personal firearm skills of a shooter and elevate them in ways that can only be experienced in such tactical scenarios.  But the competition level is never intended to be intimidating.  There are not in-your-face scores to rub in the face of shooters who don’t do well.  The experience is intended to be personal, and to be done again and again until the skills are mastered, so novice shooters don’t have to be concerned about not stacking up against those who have a lot more experience. 

The time spent at the Shoot Extreme facility can be over within 15 minutes, or shooters can hang around for hours immersing themselves in the environment.  For me, it will make a wonderful business lunch visit from time to time.  There’s no better way to talk business than over lunch with guns present, so I would think once word gets out among the business community, that many such lunches will become commonplace.  Right outside of the Shoot Extreme facility is a wonderful little Chinese restaurant as well as other options that could easily be enjoyed during a lunch hour from work. 

Obviously I can only gush over Shoot Extreme.  It’s the result of a dream from an owner who represents the best in what America has to offer.  He’s an entrepreneur who was able to take his real life service experiences in tactical training and bring it to everyday people, and that is a real gift to our society, especially those who are looking for new ways to enjoy, and protect the Second Amendment.  Shoot Extreme gives shooters a chance to get over their fear of firearms that has been drilled into our society from gun grabbing politicians, and teaches how to properly use a gun in the type of scenarios that it will most likely be used under target acquisition and threat assessment.  Because of Shoot Extreme, our society is well on its way to becoming just a bit more safe, and ultimately free. 

____________________________________________

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Rich Hoffman
https://overmanwarrior.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/ten-rules-to-live-by/
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